HFPA Bans Members From Receiving Freebies, Gifts, Trips and Other Promo Items From Studios, Networks and Stars

One of the biggest knocks against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — that its members can be swayed by trips, gifts and other freebies — is going away. The org confirmed in a statement on Friday that it has approved “new gift, travel and conflict of interest policies. Under these new policies, HFPA members shall not be permitted to accept promotional materials or other gifts from studios, publicists, actors, directors or others associated with motion pictures and television programs.”

The news is the latest step in the HFPA’s ongoing response to charges of questionable practices and a lack of diverse membership, issues that led NBC to announce that it would not air the Golden Globes in 2022.

The HFPA, which hands out the Golden Globe Awards, has been under fire for months, following an initial exposé by the Los Angeles Times about both the small, insular organization’s questionable financial practices, as well as paltry record of diversity and representation (including an entire lack of Black members). The group has already released a framework for reform that includes measures to increase the number of people of color in its ranks. The org had already instituted new restrictions on gifts that the members could receive and payments for work on their committees.

The news is in response to frequent criticism that the Golden Globes votes can be influenced by things such as a trip to France to visit the set of the Netflix’s “Emily in Paris,” which later received a Globes nomination in best comedy. (Ironically, the show also recently received an Emmy nomination.)

Now, the org says that its members “have completed virtually all of the reforms agreed upon in May — including establishing a functioning hotline (with grievances to be investigated by an outside group), approving a new code of conduct, and bringing on trusted DEI advisors. We will continue to update the industry on our progress as we vote on new bylaws that will create an inclusive, diverse, and accountable organization — one that our members, stakeholders, and partners will be proud of.”

Here’s the latest statement from the HFPA:

“The HFPA remains dedicated to the transformational change it outlined in its May reform plan and timeline. Yesterday, the organization put several more key pieces in place to move forward with reform.

July 15

HFPA membership approved the draft bylaws for a final vote with no amendments, demonstrating its continued commitment to foundational change. Official ballots will now go out via mail to the membership, with a final vote tally in early August.

The HFPA also approved new gift, travel and conflict of interest policies. Under these new policies, HFPA members shall not be permitted to accept promotional materials or other gifts from studios, publicists, actors, directors or others associated with motion pictures and television programs.

With these updates, our members have completed virtually all of the reforms agreed upon in May — including establishing a functioning hotline (with grievances to be investigated by an outside group), approving a new code of conduct, and bringing on trusted DEI advisors.

We will continue to update the industry on our progress as we vote on new bylaws that will create an inclusive, diverse, and accountable organization — one that our members, stakeholders, and partners will be proud of.”

On May 20, HFPA members approved a new Code of Professional and Ethical Conduct. “We want to be clear that a fundamental pillar of our reform plan is accountability,” that statement read. “The HFPA condemns any and all forms of harassment, discrimination and abuse. Such behavior is unacceptable and disciplinary action will be taken for violations of our new Code. All members – both new and old — will be expected to follow this new code of conduct, and will be held accountable if they do not.”

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